Albers School of Business and Economics

Bridge MBA Blog

  • What is a Cohort Anyway?

    Posted by Autumn Johnson on 2/20/2014 12:19:49 PM

    I remember when I first discovered that the Bridge MBA program operated in a cohort style and thinking to myself, “I’m pretty sure I know what a cohort is, but let’s look it up just to be sure.” So I looked it up and lo and behold, I was correct in my thinking and thus a genius. Okay not actually… but my gut matched the definition of: people banded together or treated as a group. This in an academic setting implies a group of students who follow the exact same curriculum (attending the same lectures and registering for the same courses each quarter) through the entire completion of their degrees. This also implies a smaller class setting ranging anywhere from three to thirty students depending on the size of the cohort. These implications and more have come to fruition through my time in the Bridge MBA program and I am here to tell you that cohorts—specifically this cohort—is awesome. 

    The 2013-2014 Bridge MBA cohort consists of 17 students who all know each other, and know each other well. This is one of my favorite experiences thus far in the program. I have mentioned in earlier blogs about the pre-program retreat where the cohort got a chance to break the ice and get to know one another over the course of a weekend. I must say, it has been about five months since that retreat, and it is remarkable how well we know each other and get along with one another. Many of us have developed friendships which extend beyond the classroom and have even networked with each other to obtain work/internship opportunities. In my opinion, the best part about us getting along so well together is how it affects the classroom experience.

    This quarter it was fun to see our professors first react when they saw how comfortable we are with one another. We’re not afraid to speak in class, when it comes to class participation, and we are also not afraid to make the occasional joke (okay, I shouldn’t speak on behalf of everybody, but some of us do enjoy making everyone smile). It makes for a great class environment in which laughing is a consistent occurrence that inevitably enhances our enjoyment in class.

    So what is a cohort anyway? Originally I thought it was simply small class sizes where every student takes the same classes. However, a cohort is much more than that. A cohort is a family. A family with the same goal who works together to achieve these same goals, which in this case, is to graduate with a master’s degree in Business Administration from one of the most prestigious schools in Washington. Getting to know my classmates has been one of the most enriching experiences about this program. I will be forever networked with these individuals, and, much like I can rely on them now, I know I will be able to rely on them in the future. I now know truly what a cohort is in academia and, I must say, I have an amazing family.

    By: Roger Pierce, 2014 Bridge MBA candidate

    The Super Bowl, Marketing Strategies, and Why Seattle is for You

    Posted by Autumn Johnson on 2/6/2014 02:40:33 PM

    February 2nd 2014, was one of the happiest days of my life. My beloved Seahawks, the professional football team for the city of Seattle, won the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. The game was heavily one-sided. This made the game quite entertaining for a huge fan like myself, but not so much for the casual football fan (or a football fan whose allegiance so happened to not fall with the Seattle Seahawks or Denver Broncos). However, the Super Bowl is a time when many companies invest millions of dollars for commercial advertisements to be aired during the Super Bowl. These commercials tend to be creative, funny, heart-warming, and just down right entertaining. With this in mind, at least the casual viewer would have something to enjoy during the Super Bowl blowout right? The answer is unfortunately no. No they didn’t.

    Since starting my marketing course in the Bridge Program at Seattle University, I have found myself analyzing T.V. commercials more than I ever thought I would. The Super Bowl was no different. In between my excessively joyous screams and running around in excitement when the Super Bowl was airing (the Seahawks could not be stopped, it was great), I encouraged the twenty other people I viewed the game with to quiet down during the commercials. Though rowdy and excited, it was easy to quiet everyone down as everyone knew these commercials are (usually) quite special. They were disappointing to say the least. While analyzing the commercials, I had a hard time identifying many of their target markets and, for the most part, came to the conclusion that the majority of the companies only created a commercial to get brand recognition (or so it seemed). This, however, proved to be a strategic and very smart decision.

    The Seattle Seahawks versus the Denver Broncos ended up being the most watched television program in the history of television programming. The single fact that millions upon millions of people were exposed to your brand and/or product in a commercial that will get criticized by a small percentage of people who hold high expectations for Super Bowl commercials (i.e. myself), while others will simply not care and buy the product anyway because of the commercial alone is genius. So while I found myself criticizing a large handful of the commercials while they occurred, I found myself giving a tip-of-the-cap to the marketing teams the very next day. Something I would not have thought about had I not been pursuing my MBA.

    With that said, my studies thus far in the program have been remarkable. I cannot attest enough to the fabulous professors in the Albers School of Business and Economics and how well they teach my classmates and me.  I feel my curriculum is as applicable as it’s ever been and I love finding new ways of applying what I have learned.

    I would also like to end on this note; if you are interested in applying to the Bridge Program at Seattle University and are not from the Seattle area, please know that Seattle is an amazing city. It’s not very often that a city rallies around one team as much as Seattle has with the Seahawks. Everywhere you looked there seemed to be Seahawks’ colors and “Twelfth Man” flags waving. It was quite the spectacle. And if you’re not a sports fan at all, that is okay; Seattle is still a place for you. The people are friendly; the weather is beautiful on days when it doesn’t rain (and just to note, it doesn’t rain as much as people say it does); there are thousands of companies located in the area; and, lastly, it is one of the leading cities in knowledge and innovation. These reasons and many others amplify the richness that comes from a degree program such as the Bridge MBA. I couldn’t ask for a better city to call home.

    By: Roger Pierce, 2014 Bridge MBA candidate